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Muslims, Jews work together to help heal wounds from religious conflicts

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, July 13 2012 7:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: In spite of the bloody conflicts between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East, Jerusalem's Hadassah-Ein Kerem hospital has become a place where women of both faiths find they are able to work together. In fact, according to the New York Times, "In some cases, Muslim nurses treat Israeli soldiers wounded in fights with Palestinians while their Jewish colleagues also attend to Palestinians who attacked Jews." Although there is no emerging resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian fighting, politics must be left at the door of the hospital, so employees can focus on healing.

There are no empty beds this day in the recovery room at the Hadassah-Ein Kerem hospital. Doctors and nurses hover over patients. Manar Igbarya, 25, is giving a woman an injection and inspecting a bandage on her right leg. The Orthodox patient is absorbed in talking to her visiting husband. Everyone is chatting in Hebrew; nothing in this scene seems unusual, except that Ms. Igbarya is a Palestinian Muslim.

Muna al-Ayan, 22, who works as a secretary in the same hospital, wears a hijab; everyone recognizes her as a Muslim. She said it had been hard for her to find a job in the past because of that, but she was accepted at the hospital because all they cared about was how I do my job. Every so often, she said, smiling, a patient is surprised to see a Muslim working here.

Ashgan, 35, who asked not to be identified by her family name, works in the operating room as a nurse. We all speak Hebrew, and all we do here is our job, though we all carry our Palestinian identity inside us, she said, looking at the other two women. No one can forget their identity.

Read more about Muslims and Jews working together on The New York Times.

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